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Preparing Financially for a Career Change (part 1)

Well, I don’t actually have a “career” to speak of, but I’m preparing for a change of employment. I’ve learned that I’m not cut out for being an AA in this context (read: I can’t take this anymore) .

There’s a huge part of me that wants to quit right now. But the rest reminds me that I need to get my affairs in order, both at work and financially. I feel that I owe it to them to finish some projects I’m working on and get everything set up to help the new person transition in. (I’m going to have to figure out later when to tell who and such.)

Financially, leaving this position scares me. Because I know what I want to do and it doesn’t quite pay as much. Potentially. There are two positions which I’m looking at. Both are part time, one 12-16 hours per week (I’m hoping to cover other peoples’ shifts if possible too) at $10.50 and one ? hours per week at $11. The first is at a local library, the second is at a local hospital (testing newborns’ ears). (I might actually see if a second local hospital is also looking for a tester, once I have the other skills.)

I have a friend who tests babies’ ears, who says the department needs more people. She also adores her job. As for the library, I have plenty of qualifying experience. I’m also willing to start as a shelver if they don’t have spots open (I’m keeping an eye on their help-wanted advertisements). I’m a darn good shelver and the last library I worked at offered me a position at their desk.

I think both jobs are meaningful, they don’t involve sitting at a desk high in a building with no windows for 8 hours per day. The libary is even connected to one of my potential future professions.

Then I’m looking at doing freelance writing and sewing for the rest! Oh, and blogging…

If Mr. Micah weren’t a student and were a “real” professor (not that I think you’re not a real professor, honey, I’m just talking about salary), then I wouldn’t have to open quite so many avenues. But I think I can handle it.

How will we survive? We’ll have to stop snowballing for Mr. Micah’s car unless I make lots of freelance money. So how we pay it off will depend on the month. His little income from teaching should be enough to help us make ends meet.

We also have some savings that we can use if things get desperate (and some of Mr. Micah’s last loan which hasn’t been used and we were planning to give back, but he says he’d rather have a bit more debt than a wife who cries). Enough that we can give it a go for at least four or five months.

There’s one reason it’s not scarier–one reason I keep forgetting (and then panicking). Namely, temp work.

If this doesn’t work out and we’re starting to run out of money, I can go to a temp agency and try for another, similar job. Or for plain old temp stuff. I’ve even prepared my reasoning for why I’m leaving this job–something that doesn’t reflect poorly on me and doens’t badmouth the company. I’ll post about it sometime. And I’m keeping track of what I’m doing here so that I’ll have a nice, up-to-date resume.

I won’t be leaving until the end of November, unless something changes. My boss is on vacation that week and I think I’d cover the office much better than a new hire. Plus I have projects to complete. But that’ll be a nice time for me to set things in order while she’s gone (I’m pretty sure she’ll know by then).

And I hope to interview for the ear-testing job in November. They need someone to cover a few hours each Saturday (as well as the other days). So if I come on board with the expectation that I’ll be able to do more days in December, then it’ll be a good test-period.

Part 2 will probably launch tonight and will be about some specific financial steps I’ve identified.

Postscript: I only read this after I made the decision, but it’s a relevant post at—ironically—

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Preparing Financially for a Career Change (part 2) « Mrs Micah
November 1, 2007 at 6:05 am
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November 5, 2007 at 12:23 pm
MYO Patchwork Full-Time Job » Mrs. Micah: Finance and Life
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November 28, 2007 at 8:31 am
» PFBlogger Spotlight: Mrs. Micah, Finance for a Freelance Life on Blueprint for Financial Prosperity
January 4, 2008 at 7:40 am
Preparing Financially for a Career Change (part 2)
February 8, 2008 at 10:21 pm


Mr. Micah October 31, 2007 at 3:40 pm

This post is music to my ears!

Mrs. Micah October 31, 2007 at 3:42 pm

Thank you, sweetheart. I’m glad you approve! πŸ™‚ *blushes*

Swamproot October 31, 2007 at 5:02 pm

You know, I was thinking while reading about your iPod cover post, that you seem to have a lot of traffic to your site given the comments and the linkbacks and the Carnival spots. Have you considered having Google ads in your template or some other ad server?

It takes plenty of page views to get anything substantial but it might add up after awhile and you seem to have enough traffic to make it worth while. They are pretty easy to set up, if you haven’t ever done it. I don’t do it on my personal blog because 1) hardly anyone reads it, and 2) because there is no controlling it, it would sicken me to see some Ann Coulter add pop up after I had posted a tirade. πŸ™‚ But I have on other websites and its easy.

You may have addressed this at some earlier time, I just thought I would suggest it. You probably have the traffic to make it worthwhile though.

mrsmicah October 31, 2007 at 5:51 pm

Good points, Swamproot. I’m actually planning to move my blog to a host other than WordPress (which doesn’t allow ads) for its 3rd month aversary. Then once you have 3 full months, you’re eligible for BlogHer’s ad network, which I’ve seen on other blogs and liked.

I definitely have the traffic. Somedays more than others…particularly when StumbleUpon directs people to my one sexy post. *sigh* I got just under a thousand hits and was a little bit annoyed that I didn’t have ads.

Susy October 31, 2007 at 8:35 pm

Congrats. Hope it all works out. DH quit his job 4 years ago and it’s been great ever since. He started his own business and we now both work from home (I was working from home before).

Even if you make less money at a job you love it’s so worth it, mentally, spiritually, and physically.

frugal zeitgeist October 31, 2007 at 9:04 pm

I think the salary hit would freak me out more than staying in my current job. . . but it sounds like you’d be much happier with the change. Best of luck.

mrsmicah October 31, 2007 at 9:09 pm

Well, FZ, the salary part is very freaky. It almost makes me want to cry sometimes. But then work makes me want to cry more often. (not very professional of me, admitting wanting to cry, but there you have it.)

However, we have a decent little cushion fund and I can always say “Ok, that didn’t work, I have to temp again or find a job.”

frugal zeitgeist October 31, 2007 at 9:55 pm

Lots of people feel like crying about work; it’s nothing to feel ashamed of. I sure have those days. I think the only time I’ve actually lost my shit *at* work was when my mom called to tell me that my dad had a heart attack and they weren’t sure if he’d come through or not. (He did.) I would not wish that on anyone, but I think it cured me of the urge to cry about work. There are so many things that are more important.

Good for you for having a cushion. That gives you breathing room and options!

Andrew Stevens October 31, 2007 at 11:09 pm

Good for you. Take care of your mental health and the money will take care of itself. (That’s too simple, of course, but largely true. I think a larger percentage of money problems are caused by mental health issues, particularly shopping as self-medication, than most people realize.)

Back in ’59, Rod Serling wrote a teleplay called “Velvet Alley.” One of the characters is a washed-up lush of a screenwriter (played by Leslie Neilsen in a dramatic role). He says, “You know how they do it, Ernie? They give you a thousand dollars a week and they keep on giving you a thousand dollars a week until that’s what you need to live on. And then after that, you live every day and you’re afraid they’ll take it away from you. Oh, it’s all very scientific. It’s based on the psychological fact that man is a grubbing hungry little flea who adapts like a chameleon. So in 24 hours, you can develop a taste for caviar. In 48 hours, fish eggs are no longer a luxury; they’re a necessity.”

Obviously, the key is to live below your means so you can always quit your job if need be, no matter how lucrative. (I enjoy my job quite a bit right now, but corporate cultures do change.) Life’s too short to spend it miserable just for the sake of a little more money.

mrsmicah November 1, 2007 at 6:12 am

Interestingly enough, FZ, I bumped into a tenant receptionist yesterday who’d just gotten the same news and was also crying. Seems like a justifiable reaction to me.

Thanks, Andrew. That quote’s really onto something. πŸ™‚

ms. m&p November 1, 2007 at 6:23 pm

This sounds like a good move for you. I know how unhappy a job can make you, and at some point you’ve got to cut yourself off from that. Best of luck!!

sfordinarygirl November 2, 2007 at 1:57 pm

i highly recommend a mediabistro membership and reading penelope trunk’s guide to being a freelance writer on her page.

Good luck!

Mrs. Micah November 2, 2007 at 2:00 pm

Thanks, Ordinary Girl. I actually read the book MediaBistro has put out for freelance writers. I’m hoping to join the site but when will depend on cash flow. However, I could use the alternative income I earn this month!

Vladimir Tess December 18, 2007 at 11:08 pm

I think that the only way to get the job of your dreams and the pay of your dreams is to find the right job by creating connections. For example, if you have a library somewhere in the center of the city, but it is hard to get into, you may want to get to know some people so you can get some type of buzz to employer about you. Same thing with any other job – just persist to your goal (and of course know when to quit). I believe that the best place to be a librarian is in college where you’ll be able to meet some smart professors that may give you some wise word.

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